CRAE seeks to persuade Ministers and other parliamentarians to pass legislation that is compatible with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
We draft amendments to legislation, circulate briefings and write reports to try and make the strongest case for strengthening children's rights.
Over the past 10 years, we have achieved many positive changes in law through parliamentary lobbying. These include:
|Act of Parliament||What CRAE achieved|
|Academies Act 2010||Ministerial commitment to include consultation with school students in the Department for Education guidance (print and online) on the process to follow when considering applying for academy status.|
|Equality Act 2010||At the start of CRAE's lobbying, the rights and interests of children and young people were virtually non-existent in the former Government's plans. After sustained lobbying through our campaign group Young Equals we achieved two significant successes. First, the public sector equality duty includes children and young people and the former Equality Minister promised that statutory guidance on the new duty would give practical assistance to public service providers on how they can implement the age provisions for under 18. Second, Baroness Royall wrote to the Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission urging the organisation to consider the impact of equality legislation on children and young people as it carries out its statutory monitoring.|
|Local Democracy, Economic Regeneration and Construction Act 2009||Confirmation from Minister in the House of Lords that children and young people will be included in new local authority arrangements to receive and respond to petitions from members of the public.|
|Apprenticeship, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009||A number of advances in how local services work for children and young people were achieved, including a new duty on Children's Trust Boards to have regard to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Unfortunately, this vital new duty was repealed by the incoming coalition Government.
When we discovered that regulations requiring schools to record each significant incident where a member of staff has used force against a student and to notify parents of every use of force had been suspended (just before parliamentary recess in Summer 2010), we lobbied civil servants and Ministers to get the safeguards reintroduced. We were delighted to be notified by the Schools Minister in January 2011 that the safeguards would be reinstated: they will come into force in September 2011. The provisions are in Section 246 of the Act.
|Education and Skills Act 2008||Minister agreed to amend statutory guidance to make it clear that children and young people can attend and participate in exclusion appeal hearings. A consultation on their right to appeal exclusions was also conducted.|
|Children and Young Persons Act 2008||Government agreed to issue
statutory guidance on Children in Care Councils (we tried unsuccessfully to persuade Ministers to introduce a statutory duty on local authorities to establish and provide adequate support to the new Councils).
|Education and Inspections Act 2006||Provision was made in the Act to extend statutory pupil participation guidance to nursery education.|
|Equality Act 2006||Ministers agreed that the Equality and Human Rights Commission would seek to promote and protect the rights of children and young people and that the reference to 'other human rights' in Part I of the Act includes the Convention on the Rights of the Child.|
|Companies Act 2006||This new law extends the minimum age for company directors from 10 to 16 years. Following lobbying by CRAE, provision was made in the Act for regulations to permit under 16s to become company directors and charity Trustees of organisations promoting the interests of children and young people.|
|Children Act 2004||The Children Act 1989 was amended to require social workers to ascertain and give due consideration to the child's wishes and feelings when undertaking an assessment of their needs (under Section 17 of the Act) and when conducting a child protection enquiry (under Section 47 of the Act).|
|Children Act 2004||11 significant changes were made to the legislation establishing the Children's Commissioner for England as a result of CRAE's lobbying.|
|Sexual Offences Act 2003||The Bill was amended to make it abolsutely clear that advice agencies cannot be prosecuted for giving sexual health advice to under 16s.|
|Education Act 2002||The Act made provision for statutory guidance on pupil participation.|